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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Metamorphosis Alpha plots 4E return

by Ken Newquist / July 13, 2009

 A Raptor in Metamorphosis AlphaA D&D 4th-edition powered version of Metamorphosis Alpha -- the first-ever SF role-playing game -- is being released by Signal Fire Studio. The original game took place aboard the generational starship Warden in the centuries after the vessel was badly damaged, killing much of its crew and mutating the survivors. It inspired the classic Dungeons & Dragons module Expedition to Barrier Peaks and inspired the Gamma World RPG.
The new game will stick to the same premise of the original, with mutants, intelligent plants, and other heroes delving into the celestial remains of the Warden, all the while never realizing its a starship. Check out the press release for more details.

I think this could work; one of the problems my group ran into with D&D 4th Edition didn't feel enough like our D&D. Transport the rules to another setting or genre -- say science fiction or superheroes -- and I think a lot of our emotional baggage relating to the game would evaporate. I'm also curious to see how the 4E ruleset handles being transported to another genre; my gut says it will do pretty well, especially in as morphic a setting as Metamorphosis Alpha.


Not so sure about that. It all depends on what gets imported. If the powers get ported in, I can't really see my objections becoming less. At least in a fantasy genre, the conciet of roles can be more acceptable, the fact that 4e railroads you intoroles makes this mechanic far, far less attractive in an SF setting. In the end, my hang up is not that it fits "our" D&D, but rather the rules do not allow me to customize my character an play it as I want.

I think it depends on the game. If its a mutant-based game, then I think the powers approach that 4E has could work. Same goes for a supers game. And personally, it becomes a lot easier for me to work with 4E-style powers when I disconnect them from D&D I've known and loved for decades.

This is especially true if you eschew the locked-in roles mechanic that D&D favors and go with a point buy system for powers (and honestly, I can't see why a point buy wouldn't work with 4E; it seems like a logical progression).

Ultimately, I don't know that 4E will ever rival the flexibility of Mutants & Masterminds (which is probably the pinnacle of 3E-style flexibility and crunch) but going for point-based powers would help IMHO.

This looks awesome! I loved me some Gamma World back in the day. And, as one of those who enjoys the 4E ruleset, I think it could certainly work in this type of setting.